First of all, I’d like to say thanks to Barnardo’s for asking me to take part in their Homeware campaign. Homeware and renovations have taken over my life since we got the keys to our home in October and I’m not going to lie, I love it!
It was a long journey of saving and searching until we found the property for us. As soon as our target was established, I started scouting out interesting homeware pieces in charity shops. I was hoarding like a little homeware magpie and stashing it all under my bed. I had bought six mirrors before we had even viewed our house and they were all balanced in what little space I had. This is not for the faint hearted! Although buying numerous mirrors with nowhere to put them is not what I would recommend, I would 100% suggest slowly collecting pieces as you go. For me it was a focus and an anticipation of what was to come.
My interior taste is very maximalist; I want to incorporate as many points of interest and conversation starters as possible. I even want the cutlery to have character and shopping in charity shops has definitely helped me on my way to achieving this. I have picked up all kinds of different things; from benches and, coffee tables, to plant pots and plates. One of my favourite finds is a porcelain chicken that we put our eggs is. Is it naff? HELL YEAH! I also am the very proud owner of a delightful peacock chair.
When I’m on the hunt for homeware in charity shops, I have two methods. I look for current home trends; I look online for things I like and set myself challenges to find similar things pre-loved. For example, bamboo and wicker are so popular at the moment but it comes with a pretty hefty price tag, so whenever I see a piece, I pick it up. It’s really not that hard to do as most interiors at the moment are based on that retro style and where better to find it, other than charity shops?
My lasting obsession is different coloured glassware, but I am running out of room on my bar for any more. My bar was an absolute bargain from a local Northampton charity. Can you believe it cost me £5?! In mainstream high street stores, these go for a huge amount so I am really proud of this one. My local Barnardo’s has a big homeware and bric-a-brac section which is really reasonably priced and perfect for picking up interesting glassware. I found a set of really amazing glasses for £1.49 which will get cleaned up before taking pride of place on the bar.
My other ‘method’ is to look for, what I call ‘oddities’. As in, the weird and wonderful statement pieces, like my Emmaus retro chair which sits next to my 70’s side board. The chair was £27 and I haven’t seen anything like it before, whilst the sideboard was £15. These are the kinds of things that will catch your eye. You might love them or hate them, but either way, they get you thinking.
I can’t wait until we have functioning kitchen (still under construction), because I’m desperate to show of my hostess skills! I was serious before when I said that even the cutlery had to have character. I have been collecting all kinds of stuff, none of which is going to match, but that’s part of the charm. In Barnardo’s I picked up a beautiful hand painted bowl which is going to be my summer BBQ salad bowl. Didn’t know you needed a specific bowl for that exact season and event did you? But look how happy it is.
Yes, a happy bowl. I picked it up for £5.99, which is more than I would usually pay, but I just think it’s amazing.
Charity shops have furnished and styled my whole house. The only items that are not second-hand or charity-shopped furniture-wise is my bed, sofas and dining table, and believe me, if I had found something suitable, I would have snapped it up. Furnishing a house is almost as expensive as renovating one, and it sounds crazy, but I owe a lot to the local charity shops in Northampton. The financial strain can be so stressful and through them, we have created something unique to us that we really enjoy and love to show off. Styling my house through charity shops didn’t mean that I had to cut corners. I was fortunate enough to be able to have it exactly the way I wanted because my money would go so much further. Charity shops are forever grateful for their customers but this time, the shoe is on the other foot. Without their reasonable prices and amazing donations, I would have been stuck, – and if possible, more stressed.
Thank you, Barnardo’s, for your incredibly edgy homeware!
Be sure to follow Alicia over on Instagram to follow her renovation journey, packed full of pre-loved finds.
Home is truly where the heart is. Discover the joy of shopping pre-loved homeware, and design your own ‘One-Of-A-Kind’ style for every room. Pick up our Homeware Edit brochure in-store and online now and get inspired.